WASHINGTON (dpa-AFX) - Crude oil futures inched higher Thursday, settling at a 2-week high despite rumors that OPEC will ramp up production.
Traders today reacted to a large increase in U.S. retail sales in the month of May.
The Commerce Department said retail sales jumped by 0.8 percent in May after climbing by an upwardly revised 0.4 percent in April.
The dollar strengthened a bit on the news, putting a cap on oil's advance.
The economic outlook looks strong in the US and Europe. Therefore demand for crude oil should pick up in the coming months.
The European Central Bank has pledged to keep interest rates on hold well into next year, and analysts say U.S. GDP could nudge 4% in the second quarter.
Crude inventories dropped 4.1 million barrels in the week to June 8, compared with analysts' expectations for a decrease of 2.7 million barrels, the EIA said yesterda. Gasoline stocks fell 2.3 million barrels.
U.S. crude oil production is expected to rise by less than previously expected to 11.76 million barrels per day (bbl/d) next year, the EIA said yesterday.
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